AVA MIX 018: Kerri Chandler


This week’s AVA mix is a very special entry to the series, from a true house music legend. Over the past 40-odd years, Kerri Chandler has undoubtedly helped shape the electronic music landscape. Hailing from East Orange, New Jersey, Chandler was exposed to music at a young age through his father, a well-known DJ. His love of music was encouraged by this early exposure, which prepared him for his future vocation.

Chandler’s career started in the late 1980s, and he soon gained recognition for his distinctive style, which combines house music with jazz, soul, and gospel influences. In 1990, Chandler’s breakthrough track, “SuperLover/Get It Off” signalled the beginning of an incredibly successful DJ and production career.

Chandler is renowned for his energetic DJ sets, which frequently feature live components and his distinctive usage of drum machines. In 1992 he co-founded Madhouse Records along with a Dublin-based music entrepreneur Mel Medalie. This platform played a pivotal role in advancing house music and nurturing new talent in Ireland and all around the world.

This year Kerri Chandler returns to Belfast for the first time in over a decade as part of our 10th birthday celebrations.

What was your approach to this AVA Mix?

Music and styles I love, that’s how I have always approached djing. If I don’t love what I play then I don’t think anyone else would, it has to come from the heart.

It’s been over a decade since you last played in Belfast, how does it feel to be returning this summer for AVA?

Ireland is my second home and family, I can’t wait to return to Belfast it’s been way too long.

What do you think sets the Irish crowd of music fans apart from others around the world?

The excitement and being open to heartfelt music and letting everyone around know that you can express how you feel without a care in the world it’s contagious and nothing but love 

You founded Madhouse Records with a Dubliner in 1992. How did that all come about?

Mel Medalie signed one of my earliest songs my my lover by Dee Dee Brave on to Champion Records and we became very close friends he is a fantastic mentor and I learned a lot from him. I told him I wanted to start a label to have more control over what I wanted to put out. And that’s when we started Madhouse Records.

The label recently ceased operating after 31 years. Looking back, are there any notable Irish or Irish-affiliated tracks that have gone down a storm with Irish crowds over the years?

I have been blessed to have so many wonderful memories of being in Ireland especially at Sir Henry’s I learned so much from lots of my friends in Ireland. I have considered lots of the people I grew up with extended family every time I return, it’s like the family reunion you can’t wait to return home to.

What advice do you have for aspiring DJs who are looking to break into the industry and make a name for themselves?

Find what you’re passionate about and master it, don’t be afraid of what is going to make you and your sound unique. It’s good to have influences but find the things that define you, that thing that completes you. The fun is discovering something new that you didn’t know was possible. Also you have to have to know how to have a laugh and pace yourself.

Which artists alive or dead would you love to collab with?

I love artists that are passionate about what they do, and have their own stories to tell. I look forward to artists that have lived through their craft no matter what.

Is there anything else you’re looking forward to doing on your visit to Belfast?

I always have a walk around the cities I’m in and catching up with old friends.

Will you be sinking a pint of Guinness?

The age old debate gets me in trouble between Guinness vs Murphys, lol I learned not to say, but I can tell you I have been shown how to pour proper pints of everything behind the bar whilst I’m in Ireland. Unforgettable lessons.


Cookies are used to improve our website